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United Airlines Offers To Nix $69M Deal To Rename LA Memorial Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) - Officials say the University of Southern California is "amenable" to accepting the wishes of veterans and modifying a name change for Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as long as corporate sponsor United Airlines agrees.

USC issued a statement Friday after United Airlines offered to withdraw from a $69 million agreement over criticism that the change would dishonor the facility's history as a World War I memorial.

"If USC is not in a position to honor the terms of the agreement, including in particular the name change, United would be amenable to abiding by the wishes of the community, stepping away from this partnership with USC and mutually terminating the agreement," Janet Lamkin, United Airlines' California president, wrote in a letter to USC Senior Vice President Todd Dickey.

The university said it would accept the name United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum instead of the planned United Airlines Memorial Coliseum.

USC noted that the contract would have to be modified but didn't elaborate.

Naming rights are part of USC's long-term lease that calls for extensive renovations of the nearly century-old stadium.

Criticism of the name change grew this week after the commission's president wrote a strongly worded commentary.

Earlier this week, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who serves as president of the Coliseum Commission that oversees the stadium, argued that renaming the nearly century-old stadium for a corporate sponsor in exchange for $69 million "insults the memories of those the Coliseum was intended to honor."

The coliseum has hosted two Olympics and been home to major sports teams.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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